So, A Visit From Saint Nick (sometimes referred to by the story version title, Twas The Night Before Christmas) influences next Sunday’s sermon. Just for kicks, I sat down to see what I’d come up with if I played with Clement Moore’s poem. I can say for sure that his rhymed better.
Twas three nights before Christmas, when outside the church
Not a pastor was stirring, no one went to search,
The poinsettias were hung from the railing with care,
On Christmas Eve they assumed…maybe people’d come there.
The children showed up dressed up in their best,
With joy in their hearts and love in their chest.
Then Moms in their jewelry, and Dads in their coats,
Settled into the pews, prepared to sing notes.
The sermon they were sure would maybe be riveting
But nothing they’d hear would make their life pivoting
With no expectations that their lives would change
They went through the motions, no knowledge of strange…
When suddenly in the midst of worship there arose a clatter
They turned in a flash to see could be the matter
Through the back doors came a blast of bright light
And the preacher knew this was going to be some kind of night.
On the man’s face there was some kind of glow
He’d burst in to see if this be worship or some kind of show
Had the people come waiting for entertainment near
Or was there an expectation that God would be here?
With wings unfurled, both bright and thick,
The people knew a message awaited, bold and quick,
Rather than wait for a moment, the angel came
Up to the front, and with boldness proclaim:
“This Christmas, make it more than show
Take your heart and your love and then go!
Take the gospel of forgiveness well past this wall
Run fast, tell it quick, bring it to one and all!”
Then without another word, he turned back to go
And the people said later that they’d never know
If the message was a warning or invitation made
They knew they were loved by God’s messenger paid.
The children ran to see him fly out of sight,
As the church people spilled out of pews into the night
God’s presence was felt and they knew it was given
That to tell of Christ’s birth, they’d better get livin’.